Homer called it the "glory of the immortals." To the Incas, it represented the "tears of the sun." Gold is one of the earliest metals known to mankind and its special characteristics have made it one of the most desired metals. Its resistance to tarnish, as well as luster and beauty has been long appreciated by those who work with gold and those who love to wear it. Gold continues to enjoy a place of standing both artistically and financially. Investing in a few solid gold jewelry pieces can bolster not only your appearance but your portfolio as well. But before adding to your jewelry collection, consider these important steps.
There are variations in gold that affect color, quality and price. The main elements to consider are karat weight and gram weight, color and style. Pure gold is marked 24K gold. Keep in mind that pure gold is softer than 18K or 14K pieces. 18K gold equals 75 percent gold mixed with an additional metal, which renders it stronger than 24K gold. 14K gold contains 14 parts gold and 10 parts additional metals or alloys, and so on.
When selecting a piece of gold jewelry, always inspect it for a marking to indicate its purity as well as a hallmark or trademark to identify the maker. Gold jewelry from Europe is marked differently. For example, 18K gold is marked with a 750 to indicate 75 percent gold and 14K is marked 585 to represent 58.5 percent gold.
The gram weight of a gold piece of jewelry indicates how much gold is present. Since a higher gram weight affects worth, look for the highest quality gold at the lowest price per gram for the best deal.
Jewelry which has been gold-plated or gold-filled is not as precious as pure gold, however it may be a viable option for those who want to invest in gold jewelry but have a smaller budget. Be aware that this type of gold jewelry is suitable for occasional wear. Daily wear will diminish the gold layer, exposing the base metal below.
Gold comes in many variations. In addition to yellow gold, jewelry investors also appreciate white gold, which could be mixed with palladium or nickel. Copper mixed with gold produces a pinkish rose tint. Two-tone styles are also available for those who prefer a mix of color. Mixing gold with other metals adds to its durability for daily wear and lowers its cost, while also providing additional choices. Those with allergies to nickel or other metals should choose gold jewelry that possesses a high gold content, such as 18K or 22K gold.
While most gold jewelry can be quite durable, some care should be taken when it comes to cleaning. Apply a gentle cleansing solution, such as dish soap or gold cleaning solution with warm water. Harsh abrasives or household cleaners contain chemicals which will weaken or damage gold jewelry. After rinsing, dry and buff your gold jewelry using a lint-free cloth. The use of paper towels for drying can scratch gold surfaces.
The care of your gold jewelry is very important to preserve its value and life. Keep in mind that the constant wear of gold jewelry will expose it to chemicals in lotions, soaps and powders. Always remove gold jewelry before using cleaning products - many of which contain chlorine which can ruin gold. Also, never wear gold jewelry in a swimming pool or Jacuzzi.
The correct storage of gold jewelry will keep it in prime condition. When storing gold jewelry, keep them in velvet-lined jewelry boxes with separate compartments or wrapped in a soft cloth and stored in a small bag. Storing jewelry separately helps to prevent scratching and tangling.
Lewis Jewelers is proud to carry the full line of Pandora Jewelry. Pandora charms, Pandora bracelets and Pandora beads are only a part of the collection. For more information, Lewis Jewelers, 2000 West Stadium Blvd., Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48103, 877-88-LEWIS or visit the website.